Diageo Honors Leading Spirits, Wine and Beer Distributors at Golden Bar Awards

NEW YORK, September 10, 2009 – Diageo honored the country’s leading spirits, wine and beer distributors today with the announcement of the Sixth Annual Golden Bar Award winners at www.DiageoGoldenBars.com
“We are proud to honor the best of the best across beer, wine and spirits, and our desire to pay tribute to them remains stronger than ever.  Congratulations to all of our 2009 nominees and winners for their remarkable achievements,” said Ivan Menezes, President and CEO, Diageo North America. 
Diageo hosts the Golden Bar Awards every year, the beverage alcohol industry’s equivalent of the Academy Awards, to celebrate distributors and brokers from across the United States for their excellence in the marketplace and the important role they play in their communities.  This year, given the economic climate, Diageo elected to alter the format from a gala event, and is instead honoring nominees and winners online at www.DiageoGoldenBars.com.
Larry Schwartz, President, Diageo USA, said, “The year’s challenges in the economy and the industry have made us more keenly aware and appreciative of the outstanding work of our distributors than ever.  No matter the format in which we recognize the excellence of our distributors, and no matter the location, one thing has not changed: the Golden Bar Award winners are the best in the industry at what they do and deserve to be acknowledged and celebrated.”
The Golden Bar Awards recognize distributors and brokers from across Diageo’s brands including Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Guinness and Beaulieu Vineyard.  Awards are also given for outstanding Innovation Launches, Control States excellence, and Distributor of the Year.  This year Diageo has introduced a new award – the Platinum Bar - that recognizes the best distributor in promoting responsible drinking.
In total, 32 statuettes made of 24 carat gold will be delivered to the winners.  Each Golden Bar statuette weighs eight pounds, stands more than a foot tall and is produced by R.S. Owens, the company that created the Oscar®, presented at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
A complete list of nominees and winners can be viewed at www.DiageoGoldenBars.com. Below are the categories and winners for the 2009 Golden Bar Awards:
Distributor of the Year –  Spirits: Reliable Churchill of Maryland
Distributor of the Year – Wine: Washington Wholesale – District of Columbia
Distributor of the Year –  Beer: Wright Wisner Companies
Spirits Excellence Award –  Smirnoff: Reliable Churchill of Maryland 
Spirits Excellence Award –  Baileys: United Distributors of Delaware 
Spirits Excellence Award –  Johnnie Walker: Coastal  Wine & Spirits of Florida
Spirits Excellence Award – Jose Cuervo: Capitol – Husting Company of Wisconsin
Spirits Excellence Award – Captain Morgan: Diageo Moet Hennessy, Pennsylvania Sales Team
Spirits Excellence Award –  Crown  Royal: Glazer’s of Iowa
Spirits Excellence Award – Tanqueray: Southern Wine & Spirits of New England, New Hampshire
Spirits Excellence Award – Reserve Brands: Washington Wholesale – District of Columbia
Control State Excellence Award –  Spirits: Southern Wine & Spirits of Virginia 
Venture Market Award –  Spirits: Johnson Bros, ND, Northwest Division
President’s Award – Share  Growth: Glazer’s of Ohio
Wine Excellence Award – Beaulieu Vineyard: Capitol – Husting Company of Wisconsin
Wine Excellence Award –  Sterling Vineyards: Coastal Wine & Spirits of Florida 
Wine Excellence Award –  Chalone Vineyards: Reliable Churchill of  Maryland  
Wine Excellence Award –  Edna Valley: Coastal Wine and Spirits of Florida Vineyards
Wine Excellence Award – Acacia  Vineyards: Glazer’s of Ohio 
Wine Excellence Award – Rosenblum Cellars: Washington Wholesale – District of Columbia
Beer Excellence Award –  Guinness: Peerless Beverage  
Beer Excellence Award –  Smithwick’s: Alliance Beverage – Phoenix 
Beer Excellence Award – Red  Stripe: Summit Distributing – Colorado  
Beer Excellence Award –  Progressive Adult: Houston Distributing  Company Beverages
Venture Market Award –  Beer: John G. Ryan, Inc.
Golden Bar Consistency Award –  Spirits: Empire Merchants North, New  York 
Golden Bar Consistency Award –  Beer: J&L Ventures
Innovation Launch Awards – Spirits: United Liquors LLC, A Division of Martignetti Cos. – Massachusetts 
Innovation Launch Award – Wine: Capitol – Husting Company of Wisconsin
National Accounts Execution  Excellence Award: Pacific Wine & Spirits of California 
Advancing Responsible Drinking  – Beer: Kramer Beverage 
Advancing Responsible Drinking  – Spirits: The Charmer Sunbelt Group – USA & Wine


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